Alfalfa – Mow It, Merge It, Harvest It

Here are helpful guidelines to keep in mind for making high quality haylage.

Ready to Mow?

  • First cutting of haylage timing is everything
  • 24 inches tall – Alfalfa/Grass
  • 29 inches tall – Straight Alfalfa
  • Yes, planting season is upon haylage harvest, but you can’t afford to wait on haylage
  • Haylage gains 1 NDF per day past maturity
    • Corn silage loses less quality and yield if planted after haylage—it can wait
  • Proven method of utilizing photosynthetic drying in wide swaths to maximize drying
  • Keep dirt out!
    • Less than 10% Ash
    • Mow at 3.5 inches if using a tedder to prevent mixing of dirt into forage

Ready to harvest?

  • Once merged the dry matter game is over—it will not dry more
  • Chopping
  • Keep chopper tuned
  • Make a clean cut
  • Treating
    • Using a high quality inoculant to enhance dry matter retention: This is beneficial to alfalfa haylage due to the high buffering capacity. Because of higher protein content, salts, and minerals, alfalfa benefits when more lactic acid is added, which helps drop the pH in initial phases.
    • Forage SOLUTIONS Haylage WS 500T Guaranteed Analysis: 136 billion CFU/g of product Apply 1 g/ton forage to provide 150,000 CFU/g haylage
    • Also available as a dry granular product: Forage Solutions Haylage DG 50T
  • Packing in layers 6 inches or fewer
    • Tons per hour x 800 = equivalent packing weight

Dry Matter is Key!